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The changing face of housekeeping

Over the years, various departments in hotels have been undergoing total revamping. The hotels have been equipping themselves with the most modern and user friendly technological advancements to fulfill the ever increasing demands of consumers. The housekeeping department has also not remained untouched. From being just a labour-intensive department, today it is far more mechanised and tech-savvy. It has always adapted itself with the changes and is consistently progressing in the direction of technological advancement.

The human resources also need a makeover to deal with the cutting edge technology being used in maintenance. The final outcome of this is that requirement for a more trained and more knowledgeable workforce is created. More training schools have now come up to bridge this gap and are running successfully.

However, housekeeping as a subject in a hotel management school is treated as a burden on the already overburdened students. The subject still revolves around the dry and the Kentucky mops, the hard and the soft brooms and the age old vacuums. In reality, the housekeeping, the backbone of today’s modern hotels, has moved into ride on sweepers, microfibre cloths and mechanical sweepers doing the same job. Most of the conventional, time consuming and labour-intensive methods have seen a change and have now become more practical, fast and mechanised. The stripping and polishing of floors has become faster and more durable with the use of the most modern technology. The institutes are still giving handy information on the household methods rather than the more precise and updated methods of cleaning presently being followed in the industry. While the theoretical inputs might be given to the students with the information procured from the internet, brochures and literature obtained from suppliers; the need of the hour is the practical inputs that are lacking.

Before going into the industry, many students are not even aware of the purpose of a particular machine that they look at, let aside know about its functioning. These are the same people who, in the near future, would manage an organisation’s housekeeping department. Housekeeping is demanding a change of view and perception.

Chetan Shah, IHM Mumbai

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